Science, Research & Health

….all had an increase in risk of adverse events, still safe to use combination vaccines…

I was reading through a newly published research article and read with disbelief the statement that resulted in my interpretation given above.  The actual statement was:

“……had an increased incidence of sepsis evaluations and increased respiratory support and intubation after routine immunization. Our findings provide no evidence to suggest that physicians should not use combination vaccines ….”

The research was recently published in the JAMA Pediatrics and was a study of  Extremely Low Birth Weight infants (or ELBW infants, I sometimes think shortening the words to just letters allows the reader to forget that this is a human being), and the affect routine immunisation had on various health issues for these infants.

The study itself was evaluating single vaccinations versus combination vaccinations, but it did surprise me when the study showed that these infants had a higher risk of an adverse event for either type of vaccination, then they stated that it was still safe to give the combination vaccines to them, as it was no different between single shot or combination vaccines.  An interesting conclusion to arrive at.

Thankfully they also conclude that further studies are needed to be undertaken on the timing of immunisations and the spacing of them on this vulnerable group.

Note that these infants were all generally born at 23 – 28 weeks gestation, and were generally immunised after at least 53 days postpartum.

The editorial in the same journal also discusses the study, to critique it, however mainly in the area of the measurement of the adverse events, e.g., how was the incidence of sepsis evaluated, were these children actually less at risk of adverse events because of the timing of the immunisation.  Ultimately, it was advocating that these children in the study were potentially stronger and more healthy than other children not included in the study.  I sometimes struggle to see the logic of the reasoning, I suppose more reading of research is needed!

While checking out these articles, I also found another article on the risk of administering measles containing vaccines in relation to febrile seizures (measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccines, MMRV, or as separate shots, MMR and V, these live ).  It was deemed that administering the MMRV or the MMR+/- V vaccines in a timely manner, i.e. when the children are 12 – 15 months of age, reduces the risk of increased febrile seizures.  While waiting until the second year of life actually increases the risk (16 – 23 months).  These febrile seizures were those measured in the 7 – 10 day period post immunisation, compared to the control interval.

What I find interesting, and worth thinking through more, is that the delay of immunisation creates a higher risk of fever and seizures (febrile seizures), would this be associated with the developing immune system? This was suggested by the authors also that it may be because of the stronger immune response in the older child.

I remember from my training, that the first two years of a child’s life, their immune system is continuing to develop.  Would the increased risk between 16 – 23 months merely be an indicator that the child’s immune system is fighting the introduced vaccine harder than when they are 12 – 15 months of age?

By looking through the references for this article, it is easy to see that the research into febrile seizures and the administration of a vaccine containing measles has been ongoing for over 20 years now (1991) and into febrile seizures for longer (1969), showing that they appeared to reach a peak in the second year of life.

The conclusions will always be difficult to arrive at, as we are treating individuals who respond to external stimulation in an individual manner. Why homeopathy excels in helping those who are individuals.

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